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Zoe Mitchell

Career Path: Head of People & Culture, Graduate Prospects
Location: Manchester, UK

I started my career following graduation in the hospitality industry and fell into human resources after I was tasked with gaining an 'Investors in People' award for the hotel I was working in. I joined Stakis, which later became Hilton, in my first stand alone HR role and had responsibility for all aspects of HR at a local level.

I have over 25 years experience in HR leadership starting my career in the hospitality industry. I worked for Jarvis Ramada, Hilton, and Marriott Delta Hotels in Vancouver - taking a leap of faith and moving overseas was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I would highly recommend it. I returned to the UK in 2001, following the birth of my daughter and joined Graduate Prospects, where I worked until 2020. I then merged our 90 colleagues into Jisc, ensuring they settled in to the new organisation before moving on to my next opportunity at Bolton Lads and Girls Club - a youth charity supporting the young people of Bolton. Most recently I have joined Humentum, a global nonprofit supporting NGOs and INGOs with consultancy, training, networking and advocacy.

What are you doing now?Zoe Mitchell

I am currently working for Graduate Prospects as the Head of People & Culture, I’m responsible for the strategic and operational delivery of all people-related activity and sit on the Executive Team. I have recently led the organisation through its sixth Investors in People assessment, and been awarded Employee of the Year. I also completed my CIPD qualification in 2009 and became a Fellow of the CIPD in 2012.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I knew I wanted to stay close to home, however I was also lucky enough to really like the University's campus and was also impressed at the variety of modules covered in my course.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The course was only run in a handful of university’s at the time and my love for all things ‘Geordie’ made Northumbria a done deal!

How connected was your course with industry?

The course involved a year out in industry which was a great experience. We also had a few field trips - a week in Torremolinos probably the most memorable!

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

It was absolutely invaluable - although I had worked since I was 14, the year in industry really cemented a business behaviour.

What was the best thing about your course?

The year in industry.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Leadership, teamwork, presentation skills and business knowledge.

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